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Salem teenager fearless in his fight with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

(WDBJ)
Published: Apr. 28, 2016 at 10:39 PM EDT
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A Salem man’s battle with Stage IV cancer is inspiring. Codey Logan was diagnosed around Christmas and is about to undergo more aggressive chemotherapy treatment. But he's not afraid.

Codey Logan's bedroom is his oasis. In the past five months, it's been his refuge.

“Everything is in a place for a reason,” he says. “The way I've set it up is a story of my life in a way.”

So much of his story has about his love of video games, Transformers and playing trombone for the Salem High School’s marching band and at James Madison University in the Marching Royal Dukes. His most recent chapter started when he got to JMU last fall to start his freshman year.

“I couldn't sleep, I couldn't breathe, if I laid down I would start coughing,” he says.

Throughout the semester, Codey's health declined. He finished finals limping across campus with a leg that wouldn't move. His mom wanted to take him to the Emergency Room, but he wouldn’t. Not before he saw Stars Wars premiere.

“Episode 7 was a pretty big deal,” he says.

He went to the hospital after the movie. He didn't leave for ten days. His diagnosis was Stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with bone involvement.

“The PET scan, it lit up pretty much from head to toe,” says his mother, Teresa Sizemore-Hernandez. “In his kidney, his lungs, his chest wall, both femurs his humeruses, his arms.

She saw where her son's cancer was spreading and says her world was crushing. But Codey was undeterred. He tweeted when he got out, "Let's ride."

“He amazes me,” she says. “He's got some kind of will that he had when he was born.”

“I can't explain it,” he says. “It's just something within me. I've just got things to do basically. And they're going to get done.”

But his treatment has been brutal. The first chemo cocktail is known as “Red Devil.” It would leech out of his pores and friends donated sheets for him to lay on. The next round in late-May will be worse and keep him in a special apartment outside Duke University, potentially for months. Still, he knows he will be a musician and go back to JMU to study psychology once he's better.

“I just figure, what's the point in being depressed,” he says. “It's not going to fix anything.”

Plus, even with a wall-full of collectibles, Codey Logan has more space in his room for more of his life's journey.

That special apartment at Duke will cost $2500 per month and is not covered by insurance.

This Saturday night, a BBQ at Bethel Baptist Church in Salem will raise money for Codey's treatments. It costs $8 and starts at 4 p.m. Codey will play bass guitar at the BBQ starting at 6 p.m.

His mother also wants you to know while he does have a couple matches through the bone marrow registry, the chances for people of African-American or mixed races is dramatically lower than for whites. She encourages minorities to sign up to be a bone marrow or stem cell donor at www.bethematch.org